On February 15, 1968, a meeting was held near Chicago, Illinois at Ed Jenner’s Knolland Farm (resident trainers: Tom and Donna Moore).The meeting was attended by large group of prominent horsemen. Their objective was to establish an organization that would give a united voice to the horse professional in order to better address concerns and problems that existed within the show horse industry and to improve conditions for all those involved.
Founding Father, Tom Moore, was elected as the UPHA’s first President, Chat Nichols as Vice President, Don Brockman as Secretary and Ben Segalla as Treasurer; all were respected horse trainers from local Saddlebred training barns. Others instrumental in the legal and functional formation of the UPHA, drafting its policies, constitution and bylaws, included: Dudley Abbott, Charles Dennehy, Richard Durant, J. Ralph Peak and Lloyd Teater.
Because of the foresight and dedicated service of these men, the United Professional Horsemen’s Association became a reality. In less than a year’s time, the first annual UPHA convention was held at the Pheasant Run Lodge in St.Charles, Illinois, this time with professional horsemen and women from across the nation – 139 strong.
From this small dedicated group, the UPHA has expanded to 21 regional chapters that comprise all 50 states and Canada.
Since its inception, the UPHA's members have worked for certain goals that help not only the individual horse person, but also the industry as a whole. Specifically, the UPHA has worked to improve horse shows by advising on such concerns as class scheduling, lighting and show ring footing. Grooms and caretakers, the backbone of the industry, have also benefited from a great improvement of the facilities provided for them at horse shows through continuing efforts of the UPHA.